Well, I'm working in a woodshop and surprisingly...I enjoy it. But I'm
having problems making cuts on full 3/4 inch 4x8 fibercore or mdf
sheets. I am using a good saw with a sufficient outfeed table to
support it on all sides. I can do the first half perfectly, center
myself to the left of the blade and hold the sheet to the fence with my
left hand and just kind of push....it works fine until I get up to the
saw and have to put my right hand to the right of the blade and my left
hand....to the left. Then it binds up and I'm screwed. Need some tips
> Well, I'm working in a woodshop and surprisingly...I enjoy it. But I'm
> having problems making cuts on full 3/4 inch 4x8 fibercore or mdf
> sheets. I am using a good saw with a sufficient outfeed table to
> support it on all sides. I can do the first half perfectly, center
> myself to the left of the blade and hold the sheet to the fence with my
> left hand and just kind of push....it works fine until I get up to the
> saw and have to put my right hand to the right of the blade and my left
> hand....to the left. Then it binds up and I'm screwed. Need some tips
Are you using a splitter?
Sounds like you are pushing from both sides and closing up the kerf on the
blade. How big of a cut are you taking? Pushing on the right side and
keeping the material against the fence is correct. Pushing from the left
side you are pushing the material into the side of the blade causing a bind.
Thee is a lot of leverage pushing a large sheet.
Perhaps a panel saw would be best for the initial cuts.
I agree with this in general, but what would be the correct answer when
cutting a full sheet of MDF in half? If you don't push on both sides,
the sheet will wind up moving into the blade anyway because the other
half of the sheet won't be moving since it's so heavy, and the
cutoff-side piece will shift to one side.
Would this be a time when a circular saw rough cut or sled would need
to be used?
As Lew said you need a splitter in place. I rip sheetgoods the way you
are describing except when I get up to the saw I do all of the pushing
with my right hand and use the left to _hold back_ the cutoff piece
with _slight_ resistance.
As was also suggested a panel saw (yeah everybody has one) is the best
way followed by a circular saw straightedge. I use a circular whenever
possible with a guide like this one:
Okay, I'm kind of a rookie and I'm sure some of you will tell me why
this is a bad idea (thanks, in advance), but here goes:
When I get to the point where more than 1/2 of the sheet is cut, I go
around to the other side and gently pull the sheet through the rest of
the way. Applying a very slight pulling-apart pressure keeps the blade
from binding, and tends to help keep the sheet against the fence, in my
A kickback can pull your hands or other parts into the blade if you are
behind the saw. I have done this a few times but I have a 3' outfeed
table attached to the back of my saw so I feel safe enough to do it.
The key is pay attention to what you are doing and think about the
worst possible outcome.
The tool that has injured me the most is a toss up between a hammer and
slotted screwdriver/pry bar/chisel/scraper/can opener.
The tool that I worry the most about being hurt by is my reciprocating
Scariest tool injury was caused by a utility knife slip to my thumb,
hurt like hell and bled for a few hours. At first it felt as though I
took my thumb right off, had to glue it up with Crazy Glue to stop the
I consider myself very lucky.
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